Using Cover Crop Mixtures to Achieve Multiple Goals on the Farm Webinar

Organic Agriculture October 21, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF

About the Webinar

The presenters will discuss the use of cover crop “cocktails” or mixtures to achieve multiple goals on the farm, including weed suppression, nitrogen scavenging, nitrogen provisioning, and attracting beneficial insects and pollinators. Results from a study of winter cover crops in a grain and forage research project at the Penn State Rock Springs Research Farm and from several Pennsylvania farms will be shown. We will also review issues of cover crop timing, termination, and general management to aid in farmer insight and adoption of cover crop mixes.

A pdf handout of the slides is available here

About the Presenters

  • Mary Barbercheck, Professor of Entomology, Penn State University. Mary Barbercheck researches soil entomology and ecology, biological soil quality and biological control of soil-dwelling pests, and soil arthropod diversity and function as it relates to sustainable organic cropping systems. She is a co-PI of the Cover Crop Cocktails project and leads its entomological research.
  • Jason Kaye, Associate Professor of Soil Biogeochemistry, Penn State University. Jason Kaye is the project director of the Cover Crop Cocktails project at Penn State. He leads measurements of soil organic matter quality, soil erosion, and nutrient cycling at the PSU and on-farm sites.
  • Dave Mortensen, Professor of Weed and Applied Plant Ecology, Penn State University. Dave Mortensen works in applied plant ecology and ecologically-based pest management to improve the sustainability of land resource management. He is a co-PI of the Cover Crop Cocktails project and leads evaluations of weed suppression.
  • Charlie White, Extension Associate, Sustainable Agriculture, Penn State University. Charlie White’s extension and research work focuses on improving soil health, managing nutrient cycling, and monitoring agroecosystem functioning.
  • Mitch Hunter, PhD Candidate, Agronomy, Penn State University. Mitch Hunter is a PhD candidate in agronomy working with Dr. David Mortensen. He is investigating how diverse cover cropping can contribute to ecological weed management and drought resilience in annual cropping systems.
  • Jermaine Hinds, PhD Candidate, Entomology, Penn State University. Jermaine Hinds discovered his interest in entomology during his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, College park where he studied the influence of cover crops on pest insects. At Penn State, he continues by investigating the role that cover crops and non-crop resources have on impacting beneficial insects on farm.
  • Jim LaChance, Project Coordinator, Ecosystem Science and Management, Penn State University. Jim LaChance is the project coordinator of the Cover Crop Cocktails research project at Penn State. He manages the project’s farm operations and coordinates field sampling across the CCC project team.

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This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.